Thursday, December 28, 2006

One highlight of this past weekend was a visit from Grandma Meki, Minimeki, Mekimeki, and Mrs. Meki. What an adorable bunch! Minimeki is especially cute when she looks at you, smiling broadly, then bursts into fearful tears when she realizes she has no idea who or what you are. We enjoyed her visit to our ogre cave more than she did.


Regarding the first two photos: There was a shot of them that looked better posed--it's just a better picture of them--but I'm fond of the caught-in-the-middle-of-action appearance of these two. Lord knows, it's more realistic. Photo 3 is Big Sister dragging Little Sister into her dress-up game. It's scenes like this that provoked the invention of the camera in the first place, I think.

Multiple pictures: Gingerbread, Airplant

Christmas Eve. Erin was told she could pick out some cookies to leave for Santa. Naturally, she picked the most impressive work of art generated that day, my ramshackle ginger manger. She also left a cup of milk, and a note (written by Mommy) which Erin signed herself. The next morning, all that remained were a few sizable crumbs. I bet it tasted really good.
A gingerbread fellow by crafty Brooke. Note the scarf (gumdrop-knit).
...And one by Kim. Seurat-inspired underpants make him flashy; the Gummi Bear gift he brings makes him welcome.
...And by Son of Brooke. Long, long minutes of work went into this guy. I especially like his blood-red smile and black-rimmed, cicada-like eyes. If I work a gingerbread golem into my D&D game, I'll keep this in mind.

My gingerbread man. Far superior, in his dire menace and googly eyes, to my artsy-crafty competition. He has white razor claws used to fell trees.

Here's that airplant--when the buds first appeared, Kim and I were a little weirded out. I thought I was going to be turned into a pod person. But it turned out very pretty, bloomed for about a week, and then the flowers wilted.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

As a Christmas gift, Kim's sister Pam transferred to DVD many hours' worth of digital video that we had shot. Best gift ever! Now we can review lots and lots of proud-parent photage of our offspring walking, rolling over, screaming, staring at the camera, and eating as our voices coax them to "do it again! C'mon, do it again!" Great fun for us, and perhaps for some of our close friends and relatives (albeit to a lesser extent). Maybe not something we want to put on for any and all company. Erin falling asleep while eating corn, though, is classic Funniest Home Videos stuff and will be shown to everyone.

And on the topic of being cute while eating, on Christmas day Erin had to endure sitting at the table for dinner while the center of the table was filled to brimming with sweets. She ate a segment of cheese, broccoli, and carrot pizza that Pam had made, but then announced she was done. I beseeched her to eat a couple more bites, or to at least eat a piece of the broccoli. She consented to eat one more mouthful of pizza, but then said "All done!" she put her elbows on the table and leaned way over, her head dipping close to the gingerbread men that we had decorated. Glancing back and forth between them and me, she very cutely asked, "What next, Daddy? What next, Daddy? What next, Daddy?"

Christmas was all good. There is more to tell than I have time to type. It was great seeing friends and family over the weekend.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Jill's birthday party was a fantastic success! Kim did lots of work to get things in order, baked a cake, decorated, and even vacuumed up the seven or eight pounds of Cheerios, bread crumbs, and desiccated mixed vegetables that had been hoisted overboard by Jillian during her many recent meals at the table.

It was so nice to see family, and Jillian received many adorable gifts. I also think she had a lot of fun--she's a little bit of a party girl.

I just ate some Amish friendship bread that Beth gave us -- it was delicious.

When I have little time to post, I feel that everything I say is trite. Maybe everything I say is trite anyway.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jill's Birthday!

Today, the winter solstice, is Jill's birthday. Lately, she has been super-sweet in an attempt to wring more presents from us. But I keep telling her that she gets no additional presents until she learns to walk and stops crying whenever she gets hungry.

It's been weeks and weeks and weeks since I've posted, and I have a million things about which to post! But I have no time, so unless you come by to visit and speak to me personally, you won't get to hear about: 1) my involvement in a doomed bayonet charge on the Western front--damn the Kaiser!; 2) every single cute thing said or done by Erin and Jill; 3) how I successfully poisoned an enemy of my boss, Vladimir; 4) all the pretty presents I've received from heads of state and family members; and 5) other half-truths and lies.

My air plant bloomed. I'll post pictures later. I had no idea those things grew flowers on them. I've have it for three or four years, and suddenly, boink, purple flowers shoot out the top.

Have I ever mentioned that Kim is totally, scorchingly awesome? In every way I'd ever want?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Four Notes

1) My baby is an octopus monkey. We ate at El Tarrasco last night, and in a two minute period Jill grabbed and sucked on a bottle of the green hot sauce (cap still on it, thank goodness), a knife, a fork, the salt shaker, the pepper shaker, a napkin, and my coat. She actually paused briefly after sucking on the pepper shaker; she made a face, not an unpleasant one, and smacked her lips for a moment. I suppose that was the only thing that had flavor. I'm not saying any of this because I think that anyone with children will find this incident extraordinary in any way. I'm just saying it so that if you sit at table #6 at El Tarrasco, you'll know that every single thing in the booth was sucked on by a baby.

2) We watched two episodes of Survivor at a friend's house on Thursday. They have a big screen HD TV. I don't think I ever got the full effect seeing these things in the store; they never seemed that impressive. However, watching this mega-size, mega sharp contraption in a friend's basement was pretty, like, ultimate. As I later mentioned to David and Brooke: "I've seen eye candy, but now I know what it's like to have candy lick my eyes."

3) I watched the Rankin/Bass "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on TV last week. Erin got to watch it, too. I really like the elf who wanted to be a dentist. It had been many years since I had seen "Rudolph," and I enjoyed seeing it again. The quality of the animation was technically poorer, but more endearing, than I remembered. I'm thankful for this show; I've long felt that, in the song, there are many story elements that are omitted. It's like I can only remember every other verse. There are lots of blanks in the song that the Animagic TV special fills in nicely.

4) I realized on Sunday that "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is the only Christmas song to which I know all the words. In fact, there are very, very few songs to which I know all the words.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Schmidt Sting Pain Index

Interesting and amusing:
Ratings for stinging insects

I shall avoid places that have bullet ants.


Contrary to popular opinion - as well as unpopular opinions expressed by me - I don't actually hate Christmas. I'm actually rather fond of it, and I get misty-eyed when I reminisce about Holidays past. And now it's great having two little girls of my own around at Christmastime.

My Holiday sarcasm and biting comments are simply the way I punctuate my joviality. I consider the snide comment to be the comma in the Season's Greetings. I mean, "Season's, Greetings." Maybe it's just the apostrophe.

Sve the Vwels!

I am proud to say that I have started a vowel conservation program for our office. Employees are now encouraged to reshuffle, save, cut, and paste vowels (all letters, actually, but vowels are most important) when generating business documents, instead of simply backspacing over them or deleting them.

In time, we shall lessen out dependence on foreign suppliers. The Far East supplies about 60% of our vowels, and as China and India continue to swell into correspondence-generating powerhouses, we can expect their vowel exports to diminish.

Unfortunately, office management has ignored my urging to simply eliminate 50% of vowels from correspondence. They don’t think it looks professional to write something like, “Th reprtng of th totl numbr of unsatsfctory approches s a rqiremnt.” I’m still working on it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Presidential Dollars to be Released in 2007!

The U.S. Mint will be issuing a new series of coins, beginning next year, commemorating the U.S. Presidents. Similar to the State Quarters Program, the series will feature the faces of each President, not including those still living.

My initial reaction to this announcement was deep disgust. After mulling it over for a while, it is still disgusting to me. Deep down inside me, the noble numismatist is saying, "Those stupid motherf***ers! Those stupid, awful motherf***ers!"

Ten years from now, we will have circulating coinage featuring Richard Nixon. I find the thought of that fairly humiliating. Likewise do I find it annoying that we'll have coins featuring such noble leaders as Andrew Johnson and Warren Harding. If Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both drop dead of strokes next week, we'll have them on our coins, too.

I think we should rid our coins of presidents altogether and return of the Liberty motif that existed prior to the issuance of the Lincoln cent in 1909.

Think of it. You will be receiving and spending coins that are honoring Nixon and Reagan, and very possible both Bushes (the first Bush stated that a person of my religions beliefs should not be considered a citizen), and Clinton. There's something there to be reviled by everyone--Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, Anti-Oval Office BJ, Anti-Idiot, Anti-Burglary, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life--everyone.

If we can't go back to Liberty, can we at least keep Sacagawea? She was nice. She's maternal. It's a pretty design.


This morning I wore my long underwear and wore my heavy coat, and I felt jolly and jaunty on the way to work. I was actually humming and whistling "Sleigh Ride" for most of my drive.

This contrasts with yesterday, when I wore plain old boxers beneath my work clothes and a non-heavy coat with a broken zipper. I also had to stop for gas yesterday, and had trouble with the gas pump, which prolonged my exposure to the unpleasant December morning air. I had avoided watching any weather reports that morning, and that was good, because had I known it was 15 friggin' degrees I would have been more miserable than I already was. That's why when I arrived at work yesterday I was cussing at people, Christmas, winter, cars, and everything that crossed my path.

This morning, I was skipping. Although Christmas still sucks.